One of the wonderful things about working for FCT is that no two days are the same. I am incredibly lucky that I get to work with such a brilliant group of colleagues and some fantastic farmers. Everyone brings new skills, knowledge and interests, which allow us to learn from each other and share ideas which is really rewarding.
This week has been an interesting week. I am currently delivering a new course which is being run by the University of Cumbria entitled Upland Farming for Net Zero. We have a great cohort of 15 students who are either directly farming or involved in supporting our upland farmers in the South West. This week, we have had online sessions focussing on storing more carbon in upland environments and measuring emissions from livestock, alongside a farm visit on Monday to discuss what it all means in practice. What’s great about this course is that it also feeds into a project we are just completing, which has built a version of the carbon calculator specifically for upland farmers to be able to take account of carbon on-commons, which is a welcome step forward.
I have also run a couple of training sessions for groups within the Royal Countryside Fund, providing an introduction to managing carbon on the farm. Although I do a lot of these types of talks, they never get boring as each session yields a different set of questions. What I get most enjoyment from is the interaction with the farmers and helping them to see how what I’m saying could be put into practice. It’s so rewarding to be able to help in some small way, even if it is just to help empower them to feel part of delivering the solutions.
Alongside talks, I have been finishing off a couple of reports for projects that are coming to an end: a dairy footprinting project combining farm footprints for the supplier farms with the operational footprint of the processing site, and writing some factsheets for farmers around the importance of managing manures and the opportunities with cultivation. There is always more to do and new projects and ideas to explore.